Swiss Institute, New York

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Heidi Bucher


Although Heidi Bucher’s (1926-93) oeuvre remained mostly overlooked after her death, a recent revitalization around her idiosyncratic practice has opened the conversation on this pioneer in the feminist dialogue of the 1970s. Born in Switzerland, Bucher moved to California in the 1960s where she collaborated with her husband Carl on “Bodyshells,” a series of wearable sculptures exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1972. She returned to Switzerland in the mid-1970s and began her most iconic body of work, latex casts of objects and rooms. This volume includes a conversation with Christian Scheidemann on conserving contemporary materials; essays from the catalogue of the seminal 2004 “Migros” exhibition; memories from Beatrix Ruf and curator Bice Curiger; as well as a walk through the Swiss Institute exhibition with her sons and collaborators Mayo and Indigo. Embracing the conceptual framework of an exhibition at Swiss Institute and its related public programs, each book in the SI Series adds retrospective context through seminal essays, archival materials, event transcripts, artist portfolios and exhibition documentation, as well as reprints and new translations of important texts. Each book in the series assumes a unique format to delve into the work of an artist, an artistic movement or a philosophical conundrum.

Edited by Karen Marta and Simon Castets, text by Indigo Bucher, Christian Scheidemann, Bice Curiger.

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Descartes’ Daughter
Piper Marshall (Ed.)


Texts by Melanie Gilligan, Jenny Jaskey, Fionn Meade, Kari Rittenbach, Piper Marshall

Descartes’ Daughter, edited by Piper Marshall, former curator of the Swiss Institute in New York, documents the critically lauded 2013 exhibition of the same name as well as continuing its ideas. Taking the historical account of philosopher René Descartes’ creation of an animatronic effigy of his deceased young daughter as its foundation, the exhibition explored the traditional divide between conceptual and expressive works, those dealing with either the mind or the body.

The reader includes five essays that explore the room in between this divide, both within the works exhibited and beyond. Fionn Meade, curator at the Walker Art Center, submits a poetic elegy to René Descartes, placing his ideas and the discussion around them at the center of this book. Jenny Jaskey, director and curator of the Artists’s Institute, writes on scale and the subjective, metabolic qualities of “human.” Piper Marshall asks how one can curate a feminist art exhibition, firmly merging the discussion.

Copublished with Swiss Institute following the exhibition“Descartes’ Daughter” (September 20–November 3, 2014), with works by Malin Arnell, Miriam Cahn, John Chamberlain, Hanne Darboven, Melanie Gilligan, Rochelle Goldberg, Nicolás Guagnini/Jeff Preiss, Rachel Harrison, Charline von Heyl, Lucas Knipscher, Jason Loebs, Ulrike Müller, Pamela Rosenkranz, Karin Schneider, and Sergei Tcherepnin.

Design by Li Inc., New York

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